I first met Melissa McEwen in person during a Food+Tech hackathon where we collaborated on a fun project called “group me.at” but I had been a follower of her blog and tweets for a long while. I soon learned that she is as impressive in person, as she is online. Talking to Melissa is like interacting with a charming (and cute!) oracle, one never walks away without learning something new. She has also inspired my father and I to listen more to our bodies and eat food that makes us feel healthiest.
I inherited my father’s “bad stomach,” and my stomach had gotten particularly bad about four years ago, so bad that being in bed became more common then I wish to admit. Two years ago I gave up gluten because I felt diet had to have something to do with how I felt. At the time, my health insurance had a high deductible, and I had had a previous diagnostic nightmare in my early twenties, which ended up costing thousands of dollars without providing any answers—so I started to do a lot of personal research, but it wasn’t until I started to read Melissa’s blog and read her recommended readings that things started to fall into place for me. I am navigating the complex food allergy diagnosis process right now but cutting out gluten and eating our meat and vegetables from the Sunnyside CSA has changed my life, as well as my fathers(he eats my mom’s organic vegetables from her garden). Melissa has been a big part of this, introducing me to a world where animal fat is not the enemy but the cure and I thank her for it. My father does too: he feels like a new person, and has never looked better. I haven’t talked about this before on my blog because I am not a medical professional and have been privately working through these issues. I think that everyone should research these issues for themselves, talk to their doctors and listen to their bodies.
I have felt that this diet has had a big impact on my mental health as well, which is something I have always straggled with. I come from a long line of painters and artists and I have inherited a creative disposition that makes me more sensitive to the world. Meat and animal fat makes me far more stable—and I have found myself wanting to get back into the studio
Melissa and I had a fun “girl’s weekend” just before she moved to Chicago at my house upstate. We had dinner at the farm, took some fun photographs and shared lots of lively conversation. In Chicago, she is going to be working with her family’s farm, helping to market it’s products. I trust that she will be a success because she has been so helpful to our farm with her MEATSHARE. I also foresee her becoming an important thought leader in the field of nutrition and agriculture (how cool that these two disciplines are now linked!).